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How to Host a Raw Cookie Exchange

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Cookie exchanges typically take place during the Christmas Holiday seasons.  But of course, they don’t have to be limited to such occasions.  Think outside of the “box” and host them anytime you see fit.  Below, I am sharing a few tips with you that I have learned through my years of hosting parties.

~ Stress-Free ~

Be a prepared, calm and stress-free host.  Nothing like a stressed-out host to put everyone on edge.  If you have little ones, I might suggest, if I may, that you get a babysitter… unless this is a kid-friendly event.  Make your cookies well in advance and freeze (if possible).  That is one less thing that you will have to do while scrambling around, getting ready.

Preparing Your Home


Have at least 3 large folding tables (6-8’ long) ready and well marked.   One for sample cookies, one for a gift wrapping station and another for the cookies that will be exchanged.  Depending on how large the group is, another table may be needed.


Set the festive stage with mood lighting.  I am not referring to candlelight.  Although it would be pretty, it will make it more difficult for others to see and appreciate all the gorgeous cookies.   Stringing all clear Christmas lights in various spots can add some great, inexpensive flare.


Music… music can always set the tone for a peaceful and relaxing time.  Keep the volume loud enough to be heard, but not so loud that it is difficult to talk over it.  Don’t play music that has too fast of a beat.  This can cause anxiety in some people and make it hard to relax.  Remember, this is a special time for you and your guests.

Refreshment Station:

Set up a drinking station.  You know your crowd, so serve accordingly.  I do recommend supplying drinks that are not too sweet in flavor because there will be enough “sugar-hits” with all the cookie sampling going on.  Perhaps iced or warmed (depending on the weather) mint tea, which is refreshing and settling on the tummy.

Be Calm and Eat Cookies:

Lastly, relax, breathe and remember that things don’t have to be perfect.  Besides, perfection is different in everyone’s eyes. The missed cobweb in the living room corner won’t be noticed by those stuffing cookies in their cheeks. Focus on creating a wonderful time and will leave you and your guests wrapped in warm memories.  Those are what people remember….

Step 1 ~ Send out invitations 3-4 weeks in advance.

Seven to ten people are ideal. Any less can be awkward and any more can easily get out of hand.  In the end, do what you are comfortable with.  Again you don’t want to be stressed, host.

Be sure that you let everyone know how many people are coming. When sending out the invitation, be very clear on what they need to bring and what they can expect.  No one wants to be caught off guard.

For example: instruct your guests to bring one type of cookie to share, recipe cards, and pretty wrapping supplies for packaging up cookies to take home.

I would suggest to the guests that when they print out the recipes for the cookies they made that they boldly indicate any allergen foods that might be in them.  Depending on your circle of friends and family, you can even specify for them to only bring gluten-free cookies, vegan cookies, or raw cookies.

Step 2 ~ Choose cookies to bring.

Ask each person to bring a dozen cookies for each person attending, plus an extra dozen for sampling.  This will assure that each person will go home with several dozen cookies that they can share and give as gifts.   You can assign a particular cookie to the guests or just allow them to bring their “family favorite”…  there tends to be much more joy in that plus you usually learn some neat stories.  You can now see why you don’t want to invite TOO many people… that would put a lot of stress on each person in how many they need to make.

Step 3 ~ Create a display.

Create a beautiful festive setting.  This will help get everyone into the spirit. Have folding tent cards ready along with extra pens.  That way each guest can write down what the name of their cookie is.  It might be a good idea to have them make a special note on the card, such as; gluten-free, contains nuts, etc.

Create a display table with plates at different heights to further make the arrangement even more enticing.   I will usually place a table-cloth on the table, stagger different sized boxes on top and then drape the second table-cloth over them.

Weaving clear Christmas lights around the base of the boxes make for a very enchanting setting too.  I don’t recommend colored lights as they will detract from the beautiful cookies.  You always want the cookies to be the main focal point.

Step 4 ~ Create a packaging station.

This is completely optional but a lot of fun.  Plus the guests leave with prepared arrangements of cookies that don’t require fussing with later. Set up a large working space for wrapping up cookies for the guests that bring wrapping paper, boxes, tins, ribbon, plastic wrap, and gift tags.

It’s a good idea to provide some extra white boxes, tape, and ribbon for those who may forget or not able to bring much.  Plus, having the “stage” set for arriving guests makes is clear as to where they are put their supplies.  If at all possible, create a few sample boxes or bags… this will encourage those who struggle in the creativity department.

Step 5 ~ Enjoy the Sampling!

Create a separate space for sampling cookies. Have each guest place a plate of cookies on the table (this is that extra dozen I was talking about).

Be sure that they put a stack of recipes near the cookie that they brought.  Once the table is set, let the party begin!  Sample cookies, sip tea, laugh and cherish the time that you have with your loved ones.

When it’s time to trade, set out the remaining cookies.  Have each person browse the table and take their share of cookies and recipes cards.  Take all their goodies to the packaging table and have them wrap up their cookies.  Each person will leave with joy in their heart, a full belly, and warm memories!

6 thoughts on “How to Host a Raw Cookie Exchange

  1. Maureen says:

    What a fabulous idea! You make it sound so elegant. I want to come to a cookie exchange party at YOUR house!

    • amie-sue says:

      Well that would be fun now wouldn’t it Maureen? We could celebrate the Nouveau Raw family through a big ole’ raw cookie exchange! Blessings and hugs, amie sue

  2. Tiffany says:

    A cookie exchange by mail would be fun. Hint, hint Amy Sue ;)

  3. Gabrielle says:

    Hi! Can you please tell me what the beautiful looking cookie is at the bottom of the cookie exchange page? It almost looks like a marzipan roll, dipped in chocolate. :)
    Thank you!

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